Nevada is the latest state to settle an opioid case with CVS.
The opioid crisis that has gripped the country is a complex and challenging topic to tackle. There isn’t just one issue that has led to the loss of so many lives and harm to countless others, but rather, many factors that come together to lead to the damage that has been done. Part of the opioid crisis equation is individuals gaining access to drugs that can be abused through pharmacies and other medical facilities. When pharmacies aren’t able to control the distribution of certain drugs, those drugs can fall into hands that intend to distribute them illicitly or abuse them, rather than use them for a legitimate medical reason. With this background in mind, some states have taken legal action against companies that operate in their jurisdiction and have perhaps not lived up to their responsibilities. A case involving the state of Nevada and CVS Pharmacy is one such example of this process in action. This case has recently been settled, securing a significant sum for the state of Nevada and making another statement to CVS and other companies regarding the importance of carefully restricting access to opioids.
In 2019, the state of Nevada filed a suit against CVS, in addition to other companies. These suits were related to the responsibility of pharmacies to control the drugs they distribute and properly adhere to the rules and regulations that govern prescriptions. Most of the suits that were filed have been settled, and one remains to be decided in court.
As for the case against CVS, the two sides have agreed to a settlement for a total of more than $150 million. With the settlement, the case can be brought to a resolution without going through court proceedings, and the company will be responsible for paying the agreed amount over the next ten years. Moving forward, the state hopes to work together with CVS and other companies that operate pharmacies to strengthen the defenses that are in place against access to drugs that can be abused.
Not only do these kinds of cases against large opioid distributors help enforce stricter regulations and give companies financial motivation to comply with their requirements, but they also offer the fight against opioid abuse and addiction some additional valuable resources to create programs and systems that can help improve the situation. Much of the money that is collected from these settlements and judgments winds up being used to fund initiatives that have been carefully designed to help individuals with an addiction, or communities that are seeing problems on a widespread basis.
Certainly, a single legal settlement is not going to be nearly enough to slow the tide of opioid abuse across the country, but every little step in the right direction is worth noting. As more and more businesses either agree to settlements or lose court judgments, they will have an increasing financial motivation to tighten up their operations and do their part to limit inappropriate access to these drugs.